A potential client just asked me a question that I suspect concerns many people. David told me "I know that focus is important, but how do I stay focused when I have such a varied background with so many great experiences?"
The answer is to start with the end in mind. I asked Dave what type of position he wants and he explained that he has two different targets - one in IT project management and one in technology sales. And he has the experience to do both jobs equally well.
The solution then is to create 2 resumes, each focused on a different career and to stay focused all the way through the writing process. When writing the IT resume, David needs to be single-minded about eliminating anything that doesn't help prove why he'd make a great Project Manager. He needs to focus on the things hiring managers are looking for when they look to fill this type of vacancy.
His sales-related jobs should be minimized as much as possible to make room for lengthier descriptions of the IT-related jobs. The skills summary and resume introduction should be focused on what makes him uniquely valuable for his target position. Everything about the resume should scream "IT Project Manager" - too much focus on sales will cause a concern among hiring managers that he might be a jack of all trades but master of none.
Then, when the IT resume is finished, David needs to go back and create a second resume which is focused like a laser on sales positions. If he is aiming for technology sales, then his IT experience will obviously be useful, but he must be careful to frame that experience in light of his target position.
In other words, as you write your resume, you must keep the hiring manager in your head at all times. picture her concerns. Imagine her workload. Try to feel what she feels as she looks at your resume. Your goal is to make her recognize that you are the answer to her current business problems and to do that you must focus, focus, focus on making sure you get your message across.